1. Technology

Myst – Computer Game Profile


The Basics:

  • Release Date: 09/24/1993
  • Publisher: Broderbund
  • Developer: Cyan Worlds
  • System: Macintosh
  • Genre: Point-and-click fantasy/adventure

The Game:

You play an unnamed "Stranger" who, upon finding an ancient book of the mysterious land called Myst, touches a page containing a moving image and is transported to the island of Myst.

When the Stranger arrives on the abandoned isle, they must explore and piece together what happened. The island is filled with interactive objects, hidden rooms and Linking Books that transport the player to different dimensions and times that will help unlock the puzzle of the game.

Through letters, books, puzzles and garbled video, we learn the story of the Atrus family. The father (Atrus) perfected "the art" a skill allowing him to create books that unlock gateways to various "Ages". As Atrus travels amongst the Ages he discovers their wonders, befriends inhabitants and gets involved in their politics. He becomes so enamored with the monkey-like people of the Channelwood Age that he starts bringing his sons, Sirrus and Achenar, to visit Channelwood and eventually the other Ages. Now something has gone terribly wrong, it seems one of the sons has betrayed and captured Atrus in one of the ages.

Jumping back and forth through the various ages and unlocking their secrets bring you closer to solving the mystery of what happened to this family and how to put things right.

The Stranger:

The Stranger is never given an identity, voice or history. This is used in combination with the games first person perspective to help project the player into the role of the character experience the world, fully immersing players into the game.

Graphics and Navigation:

As Myst was created before information could be streamed from a CD-Rom, the graphics were highly detailed still illustrations. Navigation is accomplished via "point-and-click", meaning the area the player wants to move to is selected using the "pointer" indicator with the mouse. If a player wants to interact with anything in the environment, they click on it and an embedded animation plays.

This technique was implemented to allow for higher quality graphics than traditional computer games of its time with large terrains to explore.


Myst is a groundbreaking first person 3D adventure that defined the genre of point-and-click adventure games. Before its release computer adventure titles were limited to text based games, which offered enormous universes with detailed interactive narratives - but no images, or graphic adventures, offering limited 2D, 8-bit graphics and simpler stories.

When the CD-ROM was introduced in the early 90s, brothers Robyn and Rand Miller were inspired to marry 3D graphics and sounds with an elaborate and detailed story to create a fully interactive world. Although all of the tools were there, CD-ROMs were not fast enough at that point to introduce streaming graphics, so instead the game was broken into highly detailed still illustrations with interactive elements.

The success of Myst was unprecedented and quickly became the #1 selling computer game for nine years until it was surpassed by The Sims in 2002.


A game this popular couldn't limit itself to just the Macintosh computer, and as soon as other systems reached the capabilities of the Mac, the game was quickly ported over.

  • Myst – Apple Macintosh – 09/24/1993

  • Myst – 3DO – 1995

  • Myst – Atari Jaguar CD – 1995

  • Myst – PC – 1995 – Compare Prices

  • Myst – SEGA Saturn – 1995

  • Myst – CD-I – 1996

  • Myst – Sony PlayStation One – 09/30/1996

  • Myst – Amiga - 1997


As computer tech advanced, so did graphics and gameplay. Like many re-releases of today, Myst received a few upgrades in these remakes.

  • Myst: Masterpiece Edition – PC – 1999 – Original game with a graphics upgrade. – Compare Prices

  • Real Myst – PC – 11/14/2000 – Replaces the illustrated environments with fully rendered 3D streaming graphics and upgraded gameplay. – Compare Prices

  • Real Myst – Apple Macintosh – 01/01/2002

  • Myst – Sony PSP – Japan: 06/15/2006; North America Release TBD – Recreation for Sony's handheld system.

  • Myst DS – Nintendo DS – 2008 – The original Mac game with a touch screen replacing the mouse, plus and a new level: the Rime Age.


  • Myst Trilogy – PC – 03/25/2002 - Collecting Myst: Masterpiece Edition, Riven: The Sequel to Myst and Myst III: Exile.

  • Myst 10th Anniversary Collection – PC – 11/13/2003 – Collecting Myst: Masterpiece Edition, Riven: The Sequel to Myst and Myst III: Exile. – Compare Prices

  • Myst: Uru Complete Chronicles – PC – 07/07/2004 – Collecting the two Myst spin-off titles: Uru: Ages Beyond Myst and Uru: The Path of the Shell – Compare Prices


  • Riven: The sequel to Myst – Apple Macintosh – 1997 – Compare Prices
  • Riven: The sequel to Myst – PC – 1997 – Compare Prices

  • Riven: The Sequel to Myst – Sony PlayStation One - 11/30/1997
  • Riven: The sequel to Myst – SEGA Saturn – 1998 (Japan and Europe Only)
  • Myst III: Exile – Apple Macintosh – 05/08/2001 – Compare Prices

  • Myst III: Exile – PC – 05/08/2001

  • Myst III: Exile – PlayStation 2 – 09/22/2002 – Compare Prices

  • Myst III: Exile – Xbox – 09/22/2002 – Compare Prices

  • Myst IV: Revelation – Apple Macintosh – 09/01/2004

  • Myst IV: Revelation – PC – 10/01/2004 – Compare Prices

  • Myst IV: Revelation – Xbox – 03/29/2005 – Compare Prices

  • Myst V: End of Ages – Apple Macintosh – 09/01/2005 – Compare Prices

  • Myst V: End of Ages – PC – 09/19/2005 – Compare Prices

  • Uru: Ages Beyond Myst – PC – 11/11/2003 – The first in the Uru series of PC only Myst spin-offs. – Compare Prices

  • Uru: The Path of the Shell – PC - 07/07/04 – Compare Prices

  • Myst Online: Uru Live – PC – 01/15/2007

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